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This article appears in the November 29, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Power of Reason:
The Living Legacy of Lyndon LaRouche
by Dennis Small
Mr. Small is Coordinator for Latin America of the Schiller Institute. We present here his edited remarks as prepared for presentation on Nov. 17, 2019 at the Schiller Institute Conference, “The Future of Humanity as a Creative Species in the Universe,” in Bad Soden, Germany. Links and subheads have been added.
Earlier this year, on the 30th anniversary of Lyndon LaRouche going to jail on January 27, 1989 to serve five years of a 15-year sentence for crimes he never committed—and which the British and Bush administration forces that threw him in prison knew perfectly well he never committed—the LaRouche organization internationally relaunched our long-standing demand that LaRouche must be exonerated.
When Lyn passed away less than three weeks later, on February 12, 2019, and we decided to redouble our efforts for exoneration, even some among our friends and supporters told us sympathetically: “It’s true LaRouche was treated unjustly, but that’s now water under the bridge. It’s time to move on and focus your energies on solving the problems the world faces—the global economic crisis; the perpetual wars and danger of thermonuclear confrontation; and the moral and cultural crisis facing our youth, including drugs.”
LaRouche’s Exoneration Is the Central Strategic Issue of Our Time
Those well-meaning people could not be more wrong. The exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche is the central strategic issue of our time.
In the memorable words of his appeal lawyer and former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark:
[The LaRouche case involved] a broader range of deliberate and systematic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge.
It is also the case that a number of LaRouche’s associates were sentenced to prison terms ranging up to 77 years, in a series of related federal and state prosecutions.
But the greatest travesty of justice was the one done against the peoples and the nations of the world, and against the very concept of Man which has been the central commitment of LaRouche’s life’s work. In his allocution before Judge Albert Bryan prior to sentencing on Jan. 27, 1989, LaRouche warned:
This group of trials by shotgun methods [is an] attempt to eliminate me from the political scene. This has already done great damage to the United States. The time has come that this evil and reckless prosecution be brought to a halt before much greater damage is done to our United States.
That damage, however, was done, depriving the American people of their most illustrious statesman and economist, the adoption of whose policies over the last 50 years would have made the world an entirely different place than it is today. It is that injustice which must now be undone if the planet is to survive. Justice for the man means justice for his ideas.
Today, I hope to give you a sense of both by showing you brief excerpts of LaRouche’s last public speech before going to jail, and of his first speech upon release, five years later. Think of the Mind that could produce those two “bookends.”
So, what was LaRouche’s crime? He proved Satan wrong. Let me explain.
In 1998, LaRouche published an autobiography titled, The Power of Reason—not The Power of Money, or The Power of the Media, and certainly not The Power of Positive Thinking. The very first words of the Author’s Foreword to that book explain:
During the course of the past nearly twenty years, I have become perhaps the most controversial among the influential international figures of this decade. Unlike all of the other leading candidates for the U.S. presidency since 1945, I am an influential original thinker.
LaRouche proved that true knowledge does not derive from sense perception, but rather from Man’s Mind. Man’s creative powers are the most powerful force for Good in the universe, and they find their expression in his unique ability to endlessly increase his Potential Relative Population-Density. As LaRouche himself summarized this central discovery, in a November 21, 1993 essay, “On LaRouche’s Discovery”:
The central feature of my original contribution to the Leibniz science of physical economy, is the provision of a method for addressing the causal relationship between, on the one side, individuals’ contributions to axiomatically revolutionary advances in scientific and analogous forms of knowledge, and, on the other side, consequent increases in the potential population-density of corresponding societies.
Doing the Good
Doing the Good, for Lyn, was identical with rigorous scientific truth. The same creativity which “bends the stars like reeds,” as he once wrote, endows Man with free will and thus morality, which finds no greater happiness than in doing the Good. Everyone who knew Lyn knows that he had an abiding love of truth, love of humanity, love of doing the Good . . . and love of a good fight.
In his final public speech before his December 16, 1988 conviction, delivered scarcely one week earlier to a Food for Peace conference in Chicago, LaRouche was unswerving:
Lyndon LaRouche [video]: There is no part of society, no constituency, which does not have the same interest. That is, the people of no nation has any different interest than that of any other nation in this matter. We are speaking of the future of hundreds of billions of unborn souls, without whose success our lives mean nothing. That is the common interest which unites each and every one of us, such that there is no distinction among any of us on this issue, on this cause, on this interest.
If we fight so, if we fight with love of humanity by thinking especially of those hundreds of billions of souls waiting to be born, and thinking also of those whose martyrdom and other sacrifice gave us what was our potential and our debt to them, respecting what we pass on to the future; and if we think of our lives, not as something lived from moment to moment, but as a very small piece of experience, with a beginning and, not too much later, an end; and think of our lives not as things which are lived for pleasure in and of themselves, but as an opportunity to fulfill a purpose—a purpose which is reflected in what we bequeath to those hundreds of billions of souls waiting to be born, in their condition.
Such that if we at any point were to cut short our mortal life by spending it in such a way which insured the cause of those hundreds of billions of souls yet to be born, we could walk to death with joy, because we had completed our life, fulfilled it. We might have been denied the chance of fulfilling it a little bit more, but nonetheless we had fulfilled it. . . .
We are each little; we are each individual. But if we know we are united to this effect, then we know that what each of us as an individual does in this united way will be caused to prosper. Thus, in this terrible moment of humanity, when civilization as we have known it for hundreds of years threatens to be removed from us in the coming 2-10 years or so, we have the risk of losing civilization; but we also have the possibility of a heroic solution to this crisis; of becoming generations which, in our time, faced with the cup of Gethsemane, accepted it and thus perpetuated, in the imitation of Christ, the cause of the salvation of future souls.
The Quintessential American
In this commitment, Lyndon LaRouche was the quintessential American. I will prove that to you, by citing the words and thinking of that other quintessential American, the philosophical founder of our Constitutional republic, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. In his 1702 “Meditation on the Common Concept of Justice,” Leibniz wrote:
“Justice is goodness conformed to wisdom. . . . And wisdom, in my sense, is nothing else than the science of felicity”—not the hedonistic pleasure-seeking that the likes of Hobbes and Bentham had promoted.
Leibniz further wrote, “One must shun the pleasures of the senses, as one shuns a stranger, or sooner, a flattering enemy. . . . Thus the sovereign wisdom has so well regulated all things that our duty must also be our happiness.” And true happiness is “the exercise of our will to act always according to our understanding . . . and the advancement of the common good. . . . For only so much of our life is to be valued as truly living, as the good we do in it.”
This Leibnizian outlook permeated the thinking of the Founding Fathers of the United States, including Cotton Mather, the most prolific intellectual figure in colonial America whose most gifted protégé was none other than Benjamin Franklin. Mather wrote in his 1710 book, Essays to Do Good:
It is an invaluable honor, to do Good; it is an incomparable pleasure. A man must look upon himself as dignified and gratified by God, when an opportunity to do Good is put into his hands. He must embrace it with rapture, as enabling him to answer the great End of his being.
Like Leibniz, Mather was emphatic in his assault against hedonism:
Rulers who make no use of their higher station, than to swagger over their neighbors, and command their obsequious flatteries, and enrich themselves with the spoils of which they are able to pillage them, and then wallow in sensual and brutal pleasures; these are the basest of men.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Thus, the U.S. Declaration of Independence’s Leibnizian invocation of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—not “Life, liberty and the pursuit of as much sensual and brutal pleasure as I can cram into my meaningless existence.”
Compare this truly human outlook to the bestial identity of man violently promoted by the British Empire and its exponents such as the Aristotelean Thomas Hobbes, who in his 1651 book, Leviathan wrote:
There is no conception in a man’s mind which has not at first, totally or by parts, been begotten upon the organs of sense. . . . To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent: that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place.
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And that in turn led Hobbes to his overt defense of evil:
Private appetite is the measure of good and evil. . . . Felicity is a continual progress of the desire from one object to another.
So if Man is thus defined by his senses and his bestial appetites, then he can easily be turned into a slave, Hobbes argued, by offering him sufficient pleasure (or money) and promising to minimize his pain. You may be familiar with an earlier formulation of this same view: “Every man has his price.”
Who is the author of that gem? Satan. But Satan, you see, is wrong.
To understand why the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche is the overriding strategic issue of our time, consider where the world would be, had LaRouche’s policies been adopted. Let’s limit our attention to two policy areas.
First, “the Leibniz science of physical economy.” Hundreds of millions of people who have died or been ravaged by extreme poverty and disease over recent decades would today be alive, prospering, and contributing to Mankind’s development, had LaRouche’s financial and economic reforms—his Four Laws—been implemented when he first proposed them back in the 1970s. Consider what has happened with world poverty since 1981.
Over the last 37 years, China has lifted some 850 million people out of poverty, according to World Bank figures. That is more than 10% of the entire human race that is now in a position to make a valuable contribution to mankind’s productivity and help shape its future. In the rest of the world, there are still over 600 million people living in extreme poverty. China went from having 46% of the world’s poor people in 1981, to 5% in 2017, to essentially 0% today.
Not only has poverty been wiped out in China, but the population is large and growing, and its life expectancy has increased over the last five decades from 44 years to 76 years.
Add to that the overall rise in educational and scientific capabilities of that growing population, as reflected in parameters such as a rising literacy rate that has far outstripped the world average, and a clearer picture emerges of a nation with the planet’s most rapidly rising Potential Relative Population-Density. That, and not GDP, is the true metric of physical economic potential, as Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly demonstrated.
If China Can Raise Itself Up, Why Can’t We?
So, if China can do it, why not we? China’s economic policies are essentially those of Leibniz, Mather, Hamilton and LaRouche—with Chinese characteristics. Instead, in the trans-Atlantic sector we have tolerated the imposition of genocidal IMF policies on developing sector nations; of Malthusian “green” policies; and of endless bailouts of the $1.5 quadrillion speculative financial bubble which now threatens to blow out the entire international financial system.
LaRouche not only forecast the breakdown crisis of the trans-Atlantic system like no other economist; he also provided detailed programmatic studies for every region of the planet, with the policies required to launch a scientific renaissance.
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A second policy area: cooperation among the U.S. and other great powers to push forward the frontiers of Man’s scientific knowledge, with fusion-powered space exploration and colonization. LaRouche’s SDI, adopted as policy by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, was a detailed proposal to put an end to the era of geopolitics, perennial wars and threatened thermonuclear annihilation, by initiating cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union on new physical principles for missile defense and broader civilian applications.
Because LaRouche’s Policies
Were Not Adopted
Because that policy was defeated by the British in the mid-1980s, the planet has remained in the clutches of British Hobbesian policies of manipulated “war of each against all,” with millions upon millions of lives wrecked by war, forced migration, terrorism, and the like—especially in Southwest Asia and Africa.
Had LaRouche’s policy been adopted, Mankind today would be well into the fusion era, and we would probably already have the first human colonies on Mars. Youth would not be facing a future of drugs, counter-cultural decay, and the pursuit of ever-more-degrading pleasures du jour—courtesy of Satan and his internet—but they would be training as astronauts, engineers, and classical musicians. They would be thinking of how to do Good with their lives.
In short, the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche, of his ideas, will have a revolutionary effect on Mankind’s future, equivalent to the impact that the reintroduction of Plato to Europe had on the Golden Renaissance, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche has emphasized.
The LaRouche Legacy Foundation
It is with that in mind, that we have established the LaRouche Legacy Foundation, which will begin publishing LaRouche’s collected works and preparing a digital archive of his life’s work. The mission of the Foundation is to help bequeath to future generations the living legacy of Lyndon LaRouche:
[to] further the scientific and literary work of the American physical economist, Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., help achieve international familiarity with his work and further his scientific advances . . . for the purpose of furthering an understanding of and appreciation for physical economy, physical science, historiography, the role of classical culture in nurturing and enhancing human creativity, and other related fields.
LaRouche on the Power of Creative Reason
Let us close by listening to Lyn himself discussing the power of Reason. This is from the first speech he delivered after being released from prison, at a Schiller Institute conference in the United States on Feb. 19, 1994:
Lyndon LaRouche [audio]: Freedom and economic development are interdependent. They are the same thing. What is economic development? Is it having something? Is it a cargo cult? Economic development is utilizing the principle of the human mind. Remember, all of this business about humanity, his force and so forth: the only power that humanity has lies within that which makes man individually in the image of the Creator: the power of creative reason. The only thing that differentiates man in science from an animal, is reason: the power to make scientific and artistic discoveries; to develop man’s behavior through these conceptions, these discoveries. The only power and the greatest power in the temporal universe is the power of ideas—not formulas, not recipes, not force, but ideas.
The only reason the human race has survived what it has survived: ideas. That’s the force we use. The power of economy lies entirely in ideas, in scientific and related discoveries which give man increased power over nature. There is no possibility of development without the expression of the freedom to generate, to transmit, to assimilate and to practice better ideas. . . .
Development and freedom are the same thing, because they both involve the freedom of ideas for change. Not libertarianism, not the right to change your sex ten times a day, but the right to use your mind to develop, assimilate and apply different choices of ideas to improve human practice, morally and physically. That is what economic development is—which requires infrastructure. You’re not going to develop a desert by sitting there and having ideas—you must have water. You must therefore use reason to get yourself water. You require power; you must have power; you must have sanitation; you must have all of these other things. So you apply the power of reason with ideas. . . .
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What happens then, as in this situation in South America and elsewhere, and in the United States, and in the British Isles, and on the continent of Europe, and in Russia, and in Eastern Europe, and in China and elsewhere soon tomorrow—that around this world people are faced with the reality that what has happened cannot continue. And they are looking and will be looking for the ideas. And there are people I know throughout black Africa who are very well aware of what we are doing. And who would respond, who have tried to respond in the past, but they are terrified—and my being in prison didn’t give them any courage either. Because they said: Look at that fellow. He’s the only fellow in the United States who is for this, and they stuck him in prison. He’s finished! There’s no one to turn to, they said.
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Well I’m free. I may be dead tomorrow, but I’m free today. We know how to win, and we shall win. But we do not have the almighty power to decree when victory will occur. We must do what we should do to bring about victory. And have confidence that the opportunity will be presented to us—we will have the opportunity. Let us be prepared, let us be persistent, let us work through frustrations and defeats. Let nothing deter us. We will fight, and we will fight until we win. Because that is our duty, and that is our hope, and that will become our victory, whether we live to see it or not.